Former Browns player Tommy James dies at 83

Updated: February 9, 2007, 12:08 AM ET
Associated Press

MASSILLON, Ohio -- Tommy James, a defensive back who played for Paul Brown in high school, college and two professional leagues, has died. He was 83.

James' family informed the team that he died Wednesday night, Cleveland Browns spokeswoman Amy Palcic said Thursday. His son, Mike James, said he believed the cause of death was congestive heart failure.

"He was a fighter," Mike James said. "He fought right to the end."

James played for Brown at Massillon High School and Ohio State before rejoining him with him the Browns in 1948 after a year in Detroit.

James started at right cornerback in 1948 and intercepted four passes for a team that went 15-0 and won the All-America Football Conference championship.

The defensive back continued to be a key player as the Browns moved to the NFL. He intercepted nine passes in 1950 to set a club record that stood until 1978. After leaving Cleveland, he played briefly for the Baltimore Colts in 1956.

James ended his NFL career with 26 interceptions, all with the Browns, tying him for eighth place in team history.

He is survived by three sons and seven grandchildren. A funeral is scheduled for Monday.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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